In·ter·punct shares book reviews, art news, lit theory and daily musings from the intimate lives of writers. It seeks to highlight, in an edgy and sprightly fashion, the poetic moments that punctuate our lives.
2/12/2019 0 Comments
“Scattered Grains: From Africa to Haiti and Beyond” is a series of six paintings, acrylic on canvas. Color is a facet of light, surroundings, beholding, and its vibrancy ushers consequence. The iridescent paints chosen for these works of art allow viewers to experience something new from each angle. But most importantly, the overlaying shapes are symbols of that which is united within reality: parts of the body, and the spirit we recognize as humans, animals, and plants. The symbols are there so that we may read their active resistance, but they also more simply exist in spite of reality’s cruelness and dullness.
The role of surrealism in Haitian art has been well-documented, whether the story goes that French writer André Breton urged Haitians to incorporate European surrealism in their daily resistance during his visit to Port-au-Prince or that Breton was moved by the art he witnessed there in such a way that surrealism itself was revitalized through contact. Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier famously observed that Haitian artists found “marvelous in the real.”
Haitian surrealism is distinct in the sense that it does not bring real objects and subjects together in a construction of surreality, but rather it presents a lineage of reality which is also surreal.
The history of Haiti informs us of sophistication and cunningness in the face of adversity. And, in the paintings, so do the calm expressions on these women’s faces, for whom identity and resistance is a matter of fact. Many visitors of Haiti have sought answers to questions on the psycho-social phenomena that is the diaspora of African peoples, the dispersal of communities due to violence and forced migration.The series offers its viewers a way to mediate those questions through the luminous landscapes, fragmented bodies, and--somehow, despite it all, a featheriness in approach via its use of airbrush. “Scattered Grains” is bold in its gracefulness and beautiful in its painful allusions.
In·ter·punct shares interviews, expositions, poems and daily musings from the intimate lives of writers. Like the interpunct, which is a middot used to separate syllables, this blog seeks to highlight, in an edgy and sprightly fashion, the poetic moments that punctuate our lives.